7 Tips to Protect Your Smart Homes From Hackers and the Reasons They Do It
With the growing cases of hacking, cybersecurity experts decided to find out what reasons for any hackers to tap into our smart home products and of course how we can prevent them from doing so. In the United States alone, there are already 44.7 million households dependent on smart home products.
As the number of smart home industries grew so does the fear that comes with it. From a small surveillance camera to nanny cameras to smart televisions, the breach of data that any cyber-thief can obtain from hacking into any of it is not impossible. Although it is designed to provide security and comfort, you cannot really prevent having one without the risks. To have a better understanding of preventing any hackers, we discussed this with the experts.
Which smart product is easiest to hack?
“Internet of Things” or IoT, cybersecurity experts emphasized. That is how smart home devices are collectively called. Take note that “I” in IoT helps us to understand its weakness. Professor Ralph Russo the director of Information Technology Programs of Tulane University stated that smart devices are network computers that are connected to each other. These devices continuously collect data from sensors embedded in them.
These smart products can be hacked like any website that has any weak protections. Below is an overview of the smart devices’ weakness that was provided by Dr. Zahid Anwar.
– Most Vulnerable: These are devices used for outdoor services that have an embedded computer that may have little support or for some has no security protocols. These kinds of devices can easily be accessed by anyone who drives-by the street and has access to any device that transmits wi-fi signals.
– Second most vulnerable: Dr. Anwar stated that the just with an app, the inside-the-home devices can be controlled from a separate smartphone or computer. Examples of these are smart bulbs, smart switches, security cameras, baby monitors, and the likes. This can be hacked via the configuration settings or weaker entry points initiated by the vendor for maintenance purposes.
– Less likely to be attacked: These are the least likely to be attacked, but is not impossible to happen: refrigerators and ovens.
Tips to Prevent Hackers:
- Look at the weakness VS strengths: Before purchasing any of the smart products, ask yourself if it is worth any of the risks? If you think it’s not, then don’t buy it. Make the necessary research for both the device and brand you prefer.
- Make your Wi-Fi network secured: Make sure that you get the router from a well-known brand. Change the network name and password. it is strongly advised that the name and the password you use do not give away anything related to you. Some also create a second Wi-Fi network specifically for the home of their home devices. More routers can create more networks that can be configured with different names and this isolates any attempt of any hacker into a specific network. One good idea is to have a guest network for any visitors. This limits them to what they see in your network connections.
- Never take your passwords for granted: Make sure that your passwords are as unique as they can be to protect your devices both new or old. Just as a key to a door will. The recommended strong password is a combination of at least 8 alphanumerical characters, 1 upper case letter, a number, and a symbol.
- We recommend professional installation: If everything is too much for you to handle or if you are not tech-savvy, then be reminded that any leading security providers like Smart Security offer professional installation. Their technicians are also great when it comes to answering queries about advanced security steps.
- Unplug unused devices: Whenever you are not using any of your devices, it is highly recommended to unplug your inactive appliances. It does not only save your energy bill but it also makes the devices inaccessible to any hacking attempts.
- Update to manufacturer updates: This is a very important step to make for both new and old devices that you have. Developers release updates from time-to-time. These updates address any detected bugs in the system and commonly have the patches for it. Never allow any access that is not associated with the device update.
- Set your devices to factory settings before getting rid of it: whenever you realise that you no longer need your device, might it be to hand it over to a relative or sell it to a friend, make sure that you set the device to factory setting; this prevents any of your personal data from being accessed by the next person and possibly communicate with your other device which is still connected on your network.